The definitive recovery of the significant changes recorded during the pandemic is confirmed

11/04/2024 - 12:00h

The Observatory of Tourism in Barcelona: city and region has published its report on the results of the Survey on the profile and habits of tourists visiting Destination Barcelona during 2023

The main conclusions of this report are presented below, according to the different sections that correspond to the specific objectives of the study.

  • The plane has repositioned again as the most used means of transport to reach the Destination Barcelona (65.0%) and the hotel as the preferred accommodation for tourists (52.8%).
  • The average of times that tourists had been before at the destination municipality slightly increased compared to the previous year (8.3 times).
  • Most tourists visited the destination as a couple (44.1%) and for leisure and vacation reasons (66.6%).
  • As in the previous year, the purchase of the arrival transport was made mainly through the company's website (65.3%) and the hiring of accommodation, through OTAs (online travel agencies) (47.5%).
  • The average tourist expenditure has increased in relation to the last 5 years, reaching a value of 893.8 € per person.
  • During their stay, tourists mainly travelled on foot (48.8%), the most popular activity was going to restaurants (89.3%) and they value ​​their stay in this destination municipality with a 8.6.
  • 27.2% of tourists have spent some night or plan to spend some night in another European destination during their trip.
  • 52.7% have chosen to eat in a Spanish cuisine restaurant during their stay.


Sociodemographic profile

The typical tourist profile who has visited Destination Barcelona in 2023 is that of a man (64.0%), with an average age of 38.3 years, of international origin (72.1%), with university studies (68.8%) and working as a salaried employee (65.0%).

The international market has led the ranking of origin of tourists to Destination Barcelona reaching a market share quite similar than the years before to the pandemic (72.1% 2023 vs 76.5% 2018-2019). Noteworthy that France, the United Kingdom and Italy are the international countries with the most visitors to the Barcelona Destination.


Characteristics of the stay

Despite decreasing with respect to previous years, the hotel is still the most used type of accommodation by 52.8% of tourists in Destination Barcelona, followed by private homes (with friends, relatives) (16.1%) and Homes for Tourist Use (HTUs) (11.9%). The average stay at Destination Barcelona in 2023 is 4.8 nights, very similar to those of the last 5 years.


Reason and characteristics of the travel

66.6% have visited Destination Barcelona for vacation or leisure, 17.8% for professional reasons and 15.6% for personal and other reasons. Among the professional travelers who have attended a professional event, those who have done so to attend a congress or conference stand out (61.4%).

Once again, the number of tourists who had previously visited the destination municipality decreased slightly with respect to the previous year, reaching values similar to those of the pre-pandemic years. These repeat visitors have visited the destination municipality an average of 8.3 times in the last 10 years.

In terms of travel group, travel as a couple continued to be the most frequent group of travel (44.1%), followed by who traveled alone (26.6%), with friends (13.2%) and with minor children (12.6%).


Travel planning

52.8% of tourists are guided by the information they find on websites and 29.6% by the information provided by their friends and relatives to plan their visit to Destination Barcelona. On the other hand, the purchase of the arrival transport was made mainly through the company's website (65.3%) and the hiring of accommodation, through OTAs (online travel agencies) (47.5%).

In 2023, the plane has been once again the most used means of transport to reach the destination (65.0%), followed by the car or motorbike (19.2%) and the train (9.6%).



In 2023, the average expense of the whole trip per tourist has increased again compared to previous years, reaching a value of €893.8: €308.7 in round trip transport, €298.3 in accommodation - €69.6 per person per day - and €286.8 in other expenses - €71.9 per person per night-.

Once again, tourists continue to spend half of their expenses during their stay on food and drink and distribute the rest, in that order, on entertainment, shopping and internal transport.


Carried out activities and main internal transport

The most popular activities in the destination have been going to restaurants (89.3%), making cultural visits (59.9%), going to the beach (58.5%) and shopping (57.2%).

During their stay, 58.5% of tourists moved around the destination on foot, followed by those who traveled by metro (37.2%), by taxi (22.7%) or by bus (22.4%). As in previous years, the main form of tourist travel has been on foot in 48.8% of cases.



22.0% of tourists have made excursions from the municipality where they are staying in Destination Barcelona, with Barcelona city being the main destination of these excursions (11.1%). These excursions continue to be made mainly by private car (32.4%) and by local train (28.7%) and are intended for sightseeing (67.5%), visiting to friends and family (8.1%) and attending professional meetings or other work or meetings (5.0%).

Finally, it should be noted that the average expense of these excursions has been €55.1 per person, a decrease of €12.6 compared to 2022.


Other aspects of the Destination

Tourists who have visited Destination Barcelona are mainly attracted by the character and friendliness of the people (8.6), by the public transport (8.4), by the gastronomy (8.3), by the restaurants (8.3) and by the accommodation (8.3) and values ​​the whole of this destination municipality very positively (8.6).

26.6% of tourists who have visited us would be willing to pay an extra cost of more than 10% for a sustainable service.

On the other hand, 27.2% of tourists who have visited the Destination Barcelona have spent some night or plan to spend some night in another European destination during their trip, with Madrid, Paris and Rome standing out among these destinations.

Finally, 37.7% of tourists have previously looked for places they will go to eat during their stay, highlighting in their final choice of gastronomy a Spanish cuisine restaurant (52.7%), a Catalan cuisine restaurant (42.9%) or a bar or coffee shops (39.3%).


The Profile and Habits of Tourists in Destination Barcelona 2023 has been undertaken thanks to 10.206 surveys to visitors aged 18 and over that stayed overnight in Destination Barcelona in the months of January to December 2023 in any type of accommodation other than a second home or a cruise, with the aim of getting to know better the profile and habits of travelers during their stay in Destination Barcelona.


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